Prish Moran, owner of Sweet_ness 7 on Grant Street, has found what she thinks is the perfect fit for her corner building at Lafayette. While Prish has seen some businesses come and go, she continues to try to pinpoint businesses that are healthy for the neighborhood, and will allow the street to grow organically. “We need to continue to grow this neighborhood as a walkable community,” Prish told me. “I’m selectively choosing the shops according to what the neighborhood needs. We’re not going to block the windows by allowing someone to throw some mattresses in here just because they have the money to pay me. I’m getting the impression that a lot of people think that just because they have money they can occupy a storefront. They are shocked when I turn them down. I’ve actually had some people ask to speak to my husband [laughing]. Then when I say ‘no’ they show me a wad of money again.”
Thankfully Prish continues to fill her storefronts with businesses that really do add to the quality of life of the West Side. “Don’t duplicate what is already on the street,” she said. “And keep the businesses unique and catering to the neighborhood. I’m not going to lease these storefronts to law firms and realty offices – that does not create a walkable neighborhood and can actually detract from the street.”
Way to go Prish! It’s so rare to have a building owner actually look out for the community’s best interest rather than just settle for the first person who walks in with a handful of cash.
In this case, Prish has selected Mary Dour to open up an African fashion shop called Dour’s Boutique. Mary is a seamstress and creates clothing and wedding dresses herself. Many of the styles are traditional, tribal cultural garments that can be seen worn by African women on the West Side of Buffalo. She will also be offering repair and sewing services. “We’re not duplicating anything here,” Prish exclaimed. “What we are doing is growing a community by allowing a unique business owner to be creative and flourish. Retail is needed on Grant Street, and this type of culturally-driven fashion retail is a good fit.”
218 Grant St
Buffalo, NY 14213